For the past five years, our Cagle family has been celebrating "Christmas around the World." Each Christmas we choose a different country to learn about, and we collaborate to plan our celebration around that country's culture and customs. It's been a fun opportunity to learn and be creative, and come together to do something a little unique during the holidays. So far we've celebrated la Noche Buena (Mexico), Buon Natale (Italy), le jour de Noël (France), and Merry Christmas, Mon (Jamaica).
This year our Christmas country was Australia, and we had fun celebrating an Aussie Christmas with our whole "Cagluso" family. :)
In December it is summertime and hot in Australia, so many families celebrate Christmas with a picnic, a barbecue, or a trip to the beach. We combined some traditional Australian foods with a holiday picnic idea for our menu.
We had pumpkin soup, cold cut croissant sandwiches, shrimp, Aussie meat pies, and a variety of salads.
Our beverages included tea (reminiscent of outback "billy tea"), a variety of Australian wines (since Australia is 4th in wine exports), and billabong ginger beer (use to make a dark 'n stormy, the country's unofficial national drink).
For dessert we enjoyed macadamia nut cookies (macadamia nuts indigenous to Australia), anzac biscuits, trifle (for Australia's English heritage), pavlova, and cherry ripe and hedgehog slices.
The kids had several activities throughout the day to learn more about the country of Australia. They got plush koala bears and crocodiles and hunted for wombats, snakes, and a kangaroo. They worked together on an ocean puzzle and talked about the Great Barrier Reef. I had lots of big plans that truthfully got lost in the busyness of December, but Ben was awesome in supervising the fun.
It is thought that Santa trades out his red suit for swim trunks when he stops in Australia. Our surfin' Santas stopped by for a visit and handed out some leis and other goodies. :)
We exchanged gifts and spent the rest of the day laughing, playing, and revisiting the picnic goods. :)
We spent the next few days soaking up our time together with our out of town family.
We went to the zoo...
ate at Truett's Luau...
The boys got tough for paintball...
And we also toured downtown Senoia and Starr's Mill, went shopping, had a massive sleepover, and a movie day, and a final fiesta!